Yesterday we talked about measuring success as a writer and later in the week, we’ll have a guest article on celebrating success, but today I wanted to get you all thinking about the various things you accomplished this year. Many of us live in a culture where it’s not polite to talk about our own achievements. Talking about the things we’ve accomplished sounds like boasting and no one wants to be “that guy” who can’t shut up about how great he is and all the great things he’s done.
When I was in the MFA program, there was also something of a competitive vibe where I felt awkward mentioning good news about my writing because I was afraid it might make my friends and colleagues feel bad. It’s that zero-sum mentality that many of us fall prey to, especially in a competitive academic environment. We worry that our success will mean someone else’s failure and we often forget that true friends will be happy for our success no matter what. The truth is, when one writer accomplishes something great, that’s just proof that the rest of us can do it too.
So today, I wanted to hear about your success in 2012. What writing milestones did you reach this past year? Please share them with us so that we can celebrate with you!
Most years my successes are fairly small, but this year things came together and I hit three major milestones. First, I had a baby in January. Much as I feared that after he was born I would never find time to write again, I quickly discovered that my writing career would not end just because I was now a mommy. This was a huge realization because before the little guy, I thought the parent-work balance was all or nothing: that either I’d be a great writer and a horrible mother or vice versa, but that I’d never be able to do both. Learning to balance these roles has been an ongoing process but having a baby was probably the most liberating and challenging thing that has ever happened to me as a writer.
In addition, because of the increased demands on my time with the little guy, I’ve had to up my game as a writer, especially when it came to DIY MFA. In many ways, having more demands on my time has forced me to be more productive with the little time I had and I hit two exciting milestones in my writing this past year: signing with an agent and launching the new DIY MFA site.
That’s it for me in terms of writing milestones, but now I want to hear from you. Please share in the comments below or post a response on your blog and link to it in the comments.